Drive Held For Displaced Residents Of Flatbush ‘Voodoo’ Fire

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dozens of residents were forced to flee for their lives last Saturday when a powerful blaze tore through their Flatbush apartment building.

The fire that killed a 64-year-old woman is being blamed on candles used during a resident’s voodoo sex ritual.

On Saturday, new efforts were underway to help victims recover from the tragedy, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reports.

“This is what community is about, this is what community does,” Councilman Jumaane Williams said.

Residents who live near the fire-ravaged building saw how much their neighbors lost and came together to help.

“We have parishioners on that block, and they came to us and asked could we do something for our neighbors who are there,” Pastor Harriet Wieber, of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, said. “The outpouring and the generosity was marvelous.”

It wasn’t just people in Flatbush who wanted to help the more than 100 displaced residents, either. Donations from across the city poured into St. Stephen’s for Saturday’s disaster relief drive, and the donations were desperately needed.

“My son is going crazy in the hotel because he is autistic,” one resident said.

“Now we have in the rooms of our school, several different locations, a whole room of men’s clothing, a whole room of women’s clothing and children’s clothing,” Pastor Wieber said.

Local leaders expressed great pride in the community for doing all they could to help.

“We’re a very beautiful community and we look out for each other,” Councilman Williams said. “Today is evidence of that.”

Saturday’s donation drive is just the beginning of the outreach effort.

“We’re going to stick around for as long as we need to, to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible,” Councilman Williams said.

“We hope to help them get ready for their new lives,” Pastor Wieber said.

Those taking their first tentative steps toward building those new lives felt nothing but gratitude for the outpouring of love and support from their neighbors.

“The community has been really good to us, and we thank God we’re alive,” one resident said.

Pastor Wieber said Saturday’s event was about four times the size of the regular monthly clothing distribution program at St. Stephen’s.

More from Cindy Hsu
  • gadi7777

    nice article. thank you for usefull stories

  • E Holder

    Let’s see how much of the donations actually make it to the victims. I hope it is not the same group that handled donations to Haiti

  • James

    GOD bless these families. I pray with faith.
    GOD bless this landlord. I pray it with faith.

    And I will stop my prayer for a short while, to sit back and observe that my, and our, prayers are already being answered right before our very eyes…

    As GOD is sending angels to St. Lutheran’s to drop off blessings…

    You know what? I’m on my way right now, as a matter of fact.

    2806 NewKirk Avenue
    Brooklyn NY


    • Marelicia Y

      James, now that’s what I am talking about. GOD bless you and your family. Be Well and Be Blessed in every area of your lives because He has made it so. I thank GOD for you and many others like you. Thank you.

  • Marelicia Y

    What a blessing! Charity starts at home people. Thank you.

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